Book Review – The Invited by Jennifer McMahon


Title: The Invited

Author: Jennifer McMahon

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication date: April 30th, 2019

353 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don’t simply move into a haunted house–they build one . . .

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams.

When they discover that this beautiful property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the local legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago.

With her passion for artifacts, Helen finds special materials to incorporate into the house–a beam from an old schoolroom, bricks from a mill, a mantel from a farmhouse–objects that draw her deeper into the story of Hattie and her descendants, three generations of Breckenridge women, each of whom died suspiciously.

As the building project progresses, the house will become a place of menace and unfinished business: a new home, now haunted, that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.


“What people don’t understand, they destroy.”

Jennifer McMahon, The Invited

I LOVE ghost stories. I personally am a believer in the occult as I had an experience with a ghost, or whatever you’d like to call it as a kid. So for mystery/thrillers, I truly love ghost stories! The Invited was my April 12 Reads from 12 Friends pick and I’m glad it was suggested.

Jennifer McMahon did a great job depicting the spiral that normally occurs during ghost stories, the spiral into “insanity” as you try to assimilate this information with the world as you know it. For Helen and Nate, they handled the “ghosts” very differently and each had their own descent into madness through the story. The Invited in told in alternating POVs with Helen and Olive, Helens teenage neighbor. The two women are wrapped up in Hattie Breckenridge and her story – though they don’t know it yet. You also get some flashback moments to several different women in Hattie’s bloodline who are passed.

I loved the inclusion of history in this plot line. Helen is so interested in Hattie’s story because of the history of the town and she goes on to learn as much as she can and it’s great for a history lover like me.

There were some obvious reveals in terms of plot twists, but the final one at the end took me off guard, which is always fun! If you enjoy thrillers and ghost stories, I would definitely recommend this one.

Happy reading, folks!

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